NBA Playoffs, Lakers Suns Game 2: Stoudemire will learn rebounding not about luck

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Thumbnail image for Odom_half.jpgThe good Lamar Odom showed up and was a dominating force in game one. He keyed the Lakers first half run from which they never looked back. He finished with 19 points and more key (especially in the second half) 19 rebounds.

“I’m not giving him no hype,” Stoudemire told reporters before the Suns practiced at Staples Center. “He had a lucky game.”

That quote (we’ll lead you to Ken Berger at CBS to read the context) comes from Amare Stoudemire, the man who did nothing to stop Odom in game one. Odom, sounding like a professional, refused to play along later and just said he hoped to be lucky again.

But that quote says something about Amare.

It says he was frustrated, which he should be, and maybe this is how Stoudemire fires himself up. (There also are some things going on in his personal life that may lead him to spout off more than normal.)

But if he thinks rebounding is about luck, it sheds light on his passions. It also sheds light on why he had just three rebounds in the game.

Rebounding is about 10 percent luck and 90 percent desire. It’s want. More than anything else on the basketball court, rebounds are where “want” manifests itself. Charles Barkley was maybe 6’5″, but he was a force on the glass because he wanted the ball more than anyone else. The best rebounder of his generation — one of the best of all time — was Dennis Rodman and he was 6’7″, yet for six straight years in the mid ’90s he pulled down more than 25 percent of the available rebounds while he was on the floor. His last year with the Spurs that was almost 30 percent. He wanted that ball more than you and he went and got it.

In Game 1, Odom wanted it. Now for Game 2 indifferent Odom or maybe even bad Odom will show up to play — there is no more inconsistent talented player in the NBA. But what he did in Game 1 had nothing to do with luck. It was desire. And Stoudemire needs to show more of that and grab more than three rebounds if the Suns are going to take one in LA.

Report: Sixers expected to waive Tibor Pleiss after trade with Jazz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Tibor Pleiss #21 of the Utah Jazz controls the ball in the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.

Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.

Jordan releases new Russell Westbrook ad, may include a shot at Kevin Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (L) and Russell Westbrook #0 look on during a press conference after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-101 in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”

Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.

Kobe Bryant on how teams should see Warriors: “‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 03:  Retired NBA Champion, CEO, Kobe Inc., Kobe Bryant speaks onstage during 2016 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 03, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.

His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).

“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”

Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.

We’re going to miss Kobe.

 

Report: Dwyane Wade’s cousin killed as innocent bystander in gang shooting in Chicago

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 29:  General manager Gar Forman of the Chicago Bulls (L) listens as Dwyane Wade speaks during an introductory press conference at the Advocate Center on July 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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This news is just sickening. In a world with just too much sickening news.

According to NBC 5 in Chicago (which spoke to police), Dwyane Wade‘s first cousin Nykea Aldridge was pushing a stroller down the street when she was shot and killed as an innocent in the crossfire of a gang shooting.

The 32-year-old woman, whom family identified as Nykea Aldridge, was apparently the unintended victim of a gang shooting, police said. She was walking around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two males approached another male and opened fire, police said.

Wade tweeted this.

Aldridge was on her way to a local school to register her kids (they had just moved) when the shooting took place. There has been a rash of gang and gun violence in Chicago in the past year, and Dwyane’s mother Jolinda Wade had just been on a panel on ESPN’s Undefeated talking about it.

Wade is coming to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls this season.

Our thoughts are with Nykea Aldridge’s family and friends.